elementia race

Writing

Bleached

By Pranathi Charasala

“You have nice eyes, but it’s a shame you’re dark.”

“You have beautiful hair, sad that you’re dark.”

“How lucky you are! No pimples or scars, what a shame that you’re you look dark, though.”


I'm Balding

By Kechi Mbah

My reflection swallows round my eyes like twisted hair beads and pink oil
while the mirror leaks a frightening truth
that I go mad to.
I hold the wishing in my fingers
drenched in castor, tea tree, and peppermint
my scalp only blooms red


alleluia

By Olivia J. Williams

I will never call a Latino “papi”
sino héroe, soldado, sobreviviente
Brother in bondage, sibling in survival
The chains of the Hispanic clink with those of his Black cellmate
We languish under the same white gall
Asian men rattle wire fences in


Where I’m From

By Emme Mackenzie

I am from
the expressions of my people
flattened nose and slits for eyes
leathery skin and cricks in my back
each feature of mine
a reflection of my family heritage


The Chief

By Patrick Barry

They say he could see a full mile on the horizon.
They say that he could smell the seas from the plain.
I’ve heard he could dance to the rhythm of a heartbeat,
And visualize true beauty in the rain.


Kansas City

By Taj’Zhere Dillard

This here is real.
There are no stories
about happy homes and whole hearts
where we come from.
No fancy cars.
We got no big houses but big dreams.
This is crack fiends at midnight,
babies crying, sleeping on wooden floors.


You Know What Hurts

By Zander Glynn

When racial slurs are used against you
When people leave you out because of your skin color
When people look at you because of your skin
When you know you’re different
When someone spits at you because of your skin
When your own family won’t talk to you


antithesis of coconut oil

By Alice Kogo

my hair bleeds purple when i sleep
dark, violet, translucent in the way that sausage fat boiling on the pan is
before it touches a towel
in the way that a ghost’s imprint is before fingerprints are left on the kitchen counter
in the way that black bodies are